The joyous Troye Sivan gig Margaret Court would’ve hated
Margaret Court would be furious. Well, even more furious.
On Wednesday night in the arena that still has her name on it, Australian singer Troye Sivan filled the room to the brim with flamboyantly-dressed, yes-voting, LGTBQ and LGBTQ-friendly, open-minded, forward-thinking happy people.
And they sang along loudly as Sivan, draped in an audience-supplied rainbow flag, introduced his song "Heaven".
He wrote it about coming out as gay as a 13-year-old boy - the chorus runs: "How do I get to heaven without changing a part of me?"
Sivan, 24, deliberately took a moment to set up the song he knows is as important to others as it is to him.
"I'm going to have a quick guess that some people are not straight in this building tonight? (Cue cheers, sorry Margaret).
"When you're LGBTQ and you're 13, it's really intense. Am I going to hell? Am I ever going to get married?
"Thankfully, I managed to get to the other side of that with a supportive network of family and friends.
"I'm a little tiny gay boy who walks around the stage, I look out and see pride flags, I see people making out and holding hands and I think everything's going to be totally fine, we're all good."
Later on, a woman yells out: "I'd turn gay for you Troye!"
He sagely notes, "I don't think that's how it works", before adding: "This is literally the gay agenda, this is what everyone was worried about."
Then there's the song "Bloom". If Margaret Court knew what it was about, with every single lyric bouncing off the walls of her arena, shouted back to Sivan by his adoring fans, she'd have to spend the next decade praying the gay away.
LOL, like she won't be anyway.
If they're going to keep putting Sivan in Margaret Court Arena, and won't change the venue name, at least the victory is that she cannot stop the joyous party being in held there that goes against every fibre of her dinosaur-like being.
Sivan in 2019 is a pop star living his best life, not just being able to be open about his sexuality (even a decade ago, that wasn't a given for pop stars) but to sing about his relationships without changing the pronouns and fill arenas all over the world because people relate.
And most notably, since last year's unapologetic "My My My" video, Sivan has morphed into a truly amazing pop star. You always want to improve at your job. He's got a full band behind him now, who also morph the songs from second album Bloom and debut Blue Neighbourhood into well, arena-filling anthems.
There's guitar solos all over Plum, a reworked Fools (one of his best songs) to add even more power and emotion and seriously intense drumming throughout.
Melbourne is the final night of the Bloom tour that started a year ago (aside from three gigs later this year that Sivan isn't really counting) and he's doing the most to celebrate.
"I'm feeling the full fantasy tonight," he notes, between an array of costume changes (he ends up in his pop theme as a 70s Bowie-esque creature complete with eye patch) and dance moves including lots of sideways double fist-pumping.
"I'm a skinny white Jewish twinky gay boy, you'd think I was Naomi Campbell strutting up here," Sivan says at one point.
He has indeed elevated his stage presence since we last saw him, from moves to banter.
And if possible, his fans love him even more. Lots of artists talk about the connection they have with their audience; Sivan doesn't need to. It's palpable.
He can even perform some of the evenings's slower moments lying on a couch - he's the only person taking a seat.
Pointing out Melbourne is his "new home town" (his parents now live here) a chatty Sivan asks the crowd if he's missing his new favourite show The Masked Singer, stating: "Jackie O thought one of the singers was me, and that made me very very proud."
Frankly it's baffling the Bloom album wasn't his "1989", sales-wise. If a female artist had sang the Bloom lyrics, maybe commercial radio wouldn't have had such a problem with it?
But in his shows, every song is a No.1, even the ones that should have been, like "Lucky Strike" and "Dance To This".
The actual commercial hits, the duets "2099/1999" and "I'm So Tired", take things to the next level.
And Sivan milks his sold out arena moment by going full pantomime asking fans to give him a real encore moment when he leaves the stage after the amazing "Animal".
They do, and he returns with "Youth" and "My My My" - the latter one of last year's most brilliant pop singles, given its rightful position as a show closer.
And if only Margaret Court could see her venue full of happy people full of love, having the night of their lives, dancing to a song about a man falling in love with a man, then being showered in rainbow confetti - a literal rainbow connection.
And that a portion of the ticket sales from the show went to LGTBQ youth charities. Bless you, Troye and thanks for the safe space, Mags.